The Mission

Mr. Barry Elwood has been part of the martial arts world for over 40 plus years and has been involved in many organizations in that time. Time and again he came face to face with the very things these organizations stated they were against inflated egos, politics, greed, and a lack of humility and respect for others. Moreover, it always seemed that somewhere along the line, money became a major part of everything and the desire for learning, growing, and advancing stagnated. Finally in 2000 he reached a limit and removed himself from the “organized” world of Martial arts. Over the next several months he felt impelled to form an “un-organization” for Elwood’s Valor Self-Defense. He knew from experience that there was other Kenpo training out there that were fed up too but still loved the martial arts and wanted to continue learning, training, and developing themselves. These other warriors still had a desire to be a part of a larger community but were frustrated with the current systems. From this knowledge the Elwood’s Valor Self-Defense was formed. Its mission was simple: To create a community or family where serious disciples could go for support, camaraderie, fellowship, accountability and at the same time they could further their own path in the martial arts. Mr. Elwood wanted a group that focused on teaching others the art with Passion and to help others develop positive relationships in their lives. To build a professional yet compassionate network of Artistes and instructors that have the sincere desire to improve the lives of their students. The focus should never be “I want to get a higher rank or more stripes on my belt” or “what’s in this for me?” but rather, “what can I do to help my students grow?” With this attitude we cannot help but grow as better teachers and disciples. Another area of major concern was the lack of integrity in the way Kenpo was taught and trained. Mr. Elwood wanted to continue to improve not only his own art but the art of his students as well. To him, Kenpo is a martial art and should be trained as such. Techniques should be applicable to modern times and situations.The principles taught that made Kenpo effective a century ago should still be able to make modern self-defense a reality. Elwood’s Valor Self-Defense strives to continually "hone our blade" against the real world we live in today. New training methods, new variations of old techniques, new adaptations, we continue to bring traditional Kenpo to modern light. The word “independent” does not indicate that we are separate from others. In fact, our network is built on the relationships we cultivate with others. Instead, “independent” is a reminder to us that in the end, we are all on our own path. Eventually you will step out of his shadow and begin to form your own version of Kenpo. This is the goal of Mr. Elwood to have each person develop their own Kenpo to spread and share with others. As crazy as this sounds, it is very real. Elwood’s Valor Self-Defense way is the way of wisdom simplicity with humility and truth. Never forget that peace comes at a price. To maintain peace and harmony we must be responsible for ourselves and to look out for others. While this sounds simple, it is not. It is to maintain peace through your skill and passion. In other words, we must be strong and responsible to maintain peace against those who do otherwise. Yes, there is“evil” in the real world. Just read and hear the media and you will see. The role of the artist is to do our part in protecting others from “evil” by learning to be humble, compassionate, and responsible. You see, not everyone has the desire or the ability to be a shepherd. Some will always be sheep. It is our job as warriors to be that shepherd and watch out for the sheep. Is this a lot of responsibility? Yes, it is. Always keep this in mind when you step on the mat or the streets . What we do is not merely as a sport or activity but, to train to protect our country family and love ones.